You Are What You (Think You) Eat

87 Percent of Snapper is Mislabeled, Study Says | Mother Jones.

More than 300 volunteers served as food detectives for the study, purchasing more than 1,200 samples of seafood from 674 restaurants, sushi bars, and grocery stores in in major cities between 2010 and 2012. Oceana then DNA-tested the fish to catch imposters.

No surprise – lots of mislabeling.

White tuna was another biggie – almost none of the labeled fish was really tuna.

A lot of the fraud is occurring due to restrictions on fishing that were put in place to prevent overfishing.  Demand has remained high, so other fish are “substituted.”

What can you do?  Not much, it turns out.

Oceana notes that “it is difficult to identify if fraud is occurring on the boat, during processing, at the retail counter or somewhere along the way.” In other words, it’s nearly impossible to figure out who is responsible for the mislabeling, especially in an increasingly global fish market.

Calm, or Not


What a ‘period of calm’ looks like in the Occupied Territories – Opinion – Al Jazeera English.

Hack Attack – Shutting Down the Economy

Successful hacker attack could cripple U.S. infrastructure, experts say – U.S. News.

A report tying the Chinese military to computer attacks against American interests has sent a chill through cyber-security experts, who worry that the very lifelines of the United States — its energy pipelines, its water supply, its banks — are increasingly at risk.

A unit of the Chinese Army is suspected in the most recent attacks.  But Iran and North Korea can’t be far behind.

[a] report considered blackouts lasting weeks or even months across large parts of the country, and suggested they could lead to public fear, social turmoil and a body blow to the economy.

What worries Dmitri Alperovitch, co-founder of the computer security company CrowdStrike, is a coordinated attack against banks that modifies, rather than destroys, financial data, making it impossible to reconcile transactions.

What would you do if there were no electricity for several weeks – no gasoline, no food in the stores, no phone, no Internet…

While the report Tuesday focused on China, the experts also highlighted Iran as a concern. That is because China, as a “rational actor” state, knows that a major cyberattack against the United States could be construed as an act of war and would damaging critical economic cooperation between the U.S. and China.

Iran has no economic stake in the US, so they have no motivation to hold back.

Where will this all lead?  Will US companies finally beef up their security?  And how much will it cost?  And finally, will it be enough to prevent a crippling attack?



Textbook Wars

Israeli and Palestinian textbooks: Teaching children to hate each other | The Economist.

WHAT should Israel do about a report claiming that Israelis and Palestinians delegitimise each other in their schools? Delegitimise the report, is the response from the Israeli side. Sounding more amenable, Salam Fayyad, the Palestinians’ prime minister, asked for help to improve the curriculum.

Both sides textbooks denigrate the other – some more so than others.

Moreover, the textbooks tend to deny each other’s existence. Of 800 maps of their contested land studied by the researchers, 87% of the Israeli ones mark none of the land between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan river as Palestinian, whereas 96% of Palestinian maps make no mention of Israel’

What chance can there be for peaceful  coexistence when both sides teach their children to hate?

peoplemovin – A visualization of migration flows

peoplemovin – A visualization of migration flows.

So where are immigrants to Russia from?


Population: 139,390,205

Immigrants: 12,270,388

% of population: 8.8%

Migrant native countries

Amazing that they’re all from former Soviet states.  Why is that?

This and other fascinating visualizations at the website.

A Tsunami of Debris

NPR’s Morning Edition has a story about the tsunami debris washing up on Alaska’s pristine shores.  Listen here.

Trash, much of it believed to be debris from the 2011 Japanese tsunami, litters the beach on Montague Island, Alaska, on Jan. 26.

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